Novation and Cancer Therapeutics Collaborates on Discovery and Development of New Cancer Therapies
News Jun 17, 2009
Novation Pharmaceuticals Inc, Vancouver, Canada and Cancer Therapeutics CRC Pty Ltd Melbourne, Australia, (CTx) has announced a joint collaboration to identify potent small-molecule compounds for two very important but highly intractable oncology targets, c-myc and hSSB1.
The collaboration will involve the use of Novation’s novel Quest drug discovery platform technology alongside CTX’s small-molecule compound library and high-throughput screening capabilities. The results of the collaboration will be a series of potent and selective small-molecule compounds with potential for development into novel cancer drugs from both targets.
Novation will have ownership of compounds that are active against c-myc and CTx will have ownership of compounds that are active against hSSB1.
The oncology target c-myc codes for a protein known as a transcription factor that activates expression of a number of genes and plays an important role in cell growth and proliferation. When c-myc is aberrantly over-expressed the protein does not bind correctly, leading to unregulated expression of many genes that can give rise to different cancers. Down-regulation of faulty c-myc over-expression has been shown to bring about tumor regression in models of cancer.
hSSB1 is a protein that signals to other proteins that damage has occurred to the DNA in a cell and brings about important cellular responses to stimulate repair of the DNA and prevent cell death. Cells that are deficient in hSSB1 become hypersensitive to DNA damage and die rapidly.
Therefore inhibition of hSSB1 could represent a novel approach to the enhancement of other cancer therapies, such as radio-therapy and chemo-therapy, which seek to disrupt DNA in cancer cells.